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Mechanical Turk

If I hadn't done a web search and been curious enough to click on a random-looking link, I never would have heard about mechanical turk.

It's a way to connect unskilled labor with people who need it cheaply. The labor in question is stuff you can do from your computer, mostly with use of the internet.

For instance, one of the "HITS" (jobs) paying 3 or so cents was "Visit my blog. Leave a one-sentence comment."

Another HIT presented an array of tiny thumbnail pictures. "Select pictures that contain flowers of species x, y, or z."

A while back, someone requested drawings of a sheep facing left for two cents apiece. He received over ten thousand. He was an art student, and this became his project.

You can read more about it here: http://www.salon.com/tech/feature/2006/07/24/turks/index2.html

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
sliverofsanity
Feb. 2nd, 2009 07:52 am (UTC)
I just read all three sections of that article - neat stuff! It does raise a lot of ethical questions. Maybe I'll get an account and try it... annoying that you have to report it as income, though, even if it's nothing. Maybe I won't bother.
I had not heard about the "wooden" Turk who beat Ben Franklin! That's neat! That is a cool story I can share with small children. haha...even Ben Franklin could be fooled.
Thanks for sharing!
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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